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The office of minority health reducing health disparities.

In 1985, a federal task force evaluated the differences in health outcomes for a variety of ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Their conclusions were startling! Compared to Caucasian Americans, these groups experienced higher rates of illness and death from common health conditions such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, HIV and AIDS, and overweight and obesity. These newly reported differences prompted the creation of the Office of Minority Health (in 1986), whose purpose is to improve the health of minorities through the development and advancement of policies, programs, and practices that consider the impact and influence of economic, environmental, and social factors on health and health outcomes.

More recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities, to be implemented by the Office of Minority Health.

The plan's 5 primary goals include:

* Increasing public awareness of health disparities

* Developing culturally appropriate initiatives

* Creating national standards on appropriate services

* Promoting cultural competence

* Supporting disparities research

The Office of Minority Health also supports the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. Research is a key component in their efforts toward health equity. They support increasing the availability of data and related research and evaluation outcomes to encourage cohesion and coordination of nationwide strategies.

The Office of Minority Health's web page also includes data and statistics on groups, selected health topics related to those groups, and education and resources on cultural competence. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov

Minority Health discussions are also a part of the CDC and FDA web pages.

Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities www.cdc.gov/omhd

Office of Minority Health and Health Equity www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/omhhe

FDA www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/ minorityhealth/default.htm

Kathy Ryan, MSN, RN
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Title Annotation:ethnic disparities in health
Author:Ryan, Kathy
Publication:Nevada RNformation
Date:May 1, 2014
Words:300
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